More rest stop areas are coming to area highways.

Eight new year-round areas are scheduled to open in northern Ontario in the next two years.

Six others are getting upgrades.

The province made a commitment to increase the number of rest areas in 2020.

Speaking to municipal representatives attending the Association of Municipalities of Ontario conference in London, Ontario, Transportation Minister Caroline Mulroney says it was done for safety reasons.

"Ontario is a very big province, and we have an extensive highway network which northerners know very well. Long drives can be dangerous, drivers can get tired, and weather conditions can make the roads treacherous," says Mulroney.

To date, two new rest areas and eight rehabilitation projects have been completed.

Mulroney says there are already plans to add more.

"We've already started exploring phase two of our rest area expansion and improvement projects. We're going to build more rest areas with heated washrooms, EV charging stations, and ample parking for trucks and passenger vehicles because rest stops save lives."